Friday, December 29, 2006

Are you like me? or not?

The other night, I was listening to two people talking about morals and how you might be bothered by something on a moral level without realizing that this thing goes against your morals until someone you care about crosses the line.

I was listening to them thinking about whether or not I could identify. And I realized that I couldn't. I realized that I don't think anything has ever crossed my "moral" threshold.

Is it because I am immoral?

I think I am a very understanding person, I think that's why I am not easily offended.

And so I started thinking (during that sleepless night - remember that?) what does tick me off? do I have any lines?

I do have one....
but even that is flexible.

Take my brother. I know that he changes his mind often, I know that he may not always do what he says he is going to do, I know that in some situation he can be unreliable. Do I say that he has lost integrity? no. because he has integrity in the way that he lives his life. These factors are just things that are a part of him. They ARE his integrity.

I know this is probably confusing. But there you have it. That's just me.

and, if you were wondering...
its tough for me to sympathize with people sometimes because something that is B.U.G.G.I.N.G them can seem to be a non-issue for me.
Its not that I have no ability to be empathetic.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

DONE - for now

My cooking for crowds is over Yay!
I enjoyed putting the kitchen though its paces, and I think we were successful.
Here was the post-Boxing Day cocktail party/open house menu.

cheese coins
crab cakes
mushroom phyllo thingies (also MSL, can't find recipe due to annoying new "search" system)
eggplant dip (also MSL, can't find recipe due to annoying new "search" system)
baked brie-recipe from a friend
orange-yogurt cake (also MSL, can't find recipe due to annoying new "search" system)
brownie bites-from a box

I also put out guacamole from TJ's and See's chocolates.
Jen brought salmon tea sandwiches and an apple pie, and Adrian made baked beans with kielbasa.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

One thing we didn't fix

Through all of this holiday cooking, I've realized that there is one thing in our kitchen that is wrong - that we didn't fix. Although, I don't think we could have fixed it.

The oven is at the short end of the island.
In itself that is not an issue.
But for some reason, people like to stand in that spot. So if you need to open the oven, you have to ask the people to move. And for some reason, people forget that you just asked them to move, so as soon as you close the oven, they are back standing over there.
Now add to this that the oven temperature varies, so you have to keep looking at the thermometer inside... so when you are baking or cooking in my oven, you need to open it a lot!

on the left is the location of the oven in relation to the island; on the right is how much space you have to stand there with the oven open. Since I am fairly small, you can see the issue.

In my sleeplessness of the other night, I was pondering this issue. Mostly, I was wondering why people stand there. If you are paying attention to where you are in space and there are things going on around your back - THAT close to your back - wouldn't you move, and stay moved?

while I was taking those photos, I realized I could capture the reflection of both skylights in the counter:

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Sleepless Nights

I could NOT sleep last night. I thought about this, and that, and this again.
I had all these ideas for things to post on my blog... and then composed them. Complete with spellcheck! I actually contemplated getting up and typing... but thought, well - if I lie here still I might fall asleep - three hours later...

anyway, its morning, I did sleep, and now I'm waiting for a 10:45 vet appointment, and I have to stop Max from peeing before then so that they can do a urine sample and make sure that his "inappropriate elimination" is not due to medical reasons. Yea, we know its behavioral, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt - first.

So, I'm going to do some typing, cleaning, things where I will be still, so they will just lie with me and not want to be outside or wandering.

That's all for now, but stay tuned for some "dailies".

Monday, December 25, 2006

Holiday Season

Well this has been a very different holiday season.
Usually, we have some sort of gift experience, a lot of family time, and a few social events.

This year, we had LOTS of social obligations before the holidays.
We planned a cocktail party/open house here for all our friends as that one social event.
But all those plans went awry.
We only made it to one pre-Xmas party, and we’re hosting THREE.
I was talking to a friend about getting together on Xmas eve, and decided we’d host a dinner. On Sat, the guest count went from 6 to 8, to 12, to 13, to 10. Luckily, our menu was planned to feed an army, so we are just eating the leftovers for the rest of the week.

Tomorrow I start shopping & cooking for the party, and then or New Year’s Day we do a small gift exchange. Those are all the social events.

In the meantime, I’m using the days to catch-up on errands. Today, we rented a carpet cleaner! and removed the evidence of “kitchen” from the porch “carpet”! How’s that for “spirit?!”

Thursday, December 21, 2006

are your worries really that bad?

An old Jewish saying goes:

if you and everyone else hung your worries on the worry tree, and then you could pick the ones you wanted,
you would select your own.

Monday, December 18, 2006


... an email about my credit card bill.
aaaah... so THAT'S why I put up with it!
yup - in my values, that is a good reason.
WARNING: this post contains 100% sarcasm.

Such a Challenge

Its getting to the breaking point,
the tipping point,
where I just can't take it anymore.
I wonder all the time if it is more because of me, or more because of the nature of the business.
I wish there were women leaders out there who were able to mentor, and assist the rest of us in these blatant chauvanistic experiences.
Sometimes I think about writing to Martha Stewart and asking her to write a book, or something other than magazine froo froo, about the realities of being a female leader.
I wish there was someone I could talk to, to say, this is what happened to me right now; how should I respond.
I am pretty sure that being surrounded by male managers means that in an adapt-or-die kind of way, I take on the traits; which of course make me rejected because I am behaving out of the expected form.
If I was in an environment where there were other, like even just one other, technical lead who was a woman, we could at least band together to try and make change.
When you talk to upper management about it, they just think you're whining.
I realize that I have 2 options, take it or reject it. If I take it, they will think that they can treat me that way; so I try to assert myself, I try to not accept the derogatory. And then I get labelled as ... (I can't even think about the words right now - I make a concerted effort to use positive words instead of their negative counterparts; the positive words would be strong, direct, assertive). This is not how their wives behave, and so why do I?!
Today, a guy (a peer - sorry, that's not true, in a strict examination of the office org chart, I am actually above him) told me, basically, that I was not to talk to this, like, administrative person at a prospective client ever again.
I am the person who has submitted proposals to this person, I am the one who has talked to her about our company, I am the one that she calls. And because of something completely out of my control, he has decided that I am not qualified or good enough or smart enough to ever . talk . to . her . again. He said - send me the person's contact info, and I'll call her.
How do you respond to this.... ??? do you just do it? or do you put up a fight?
I told him not to treat me like an idiot. I said, how is it going to look, you who she doesn't know and has never even heard of, calling out of the blue to tell her that I am wrong and that she shouldn't talk to me anymore? No matter how you phrase that, you are communicating that Lisa is not competent - ie in the future when she submits a proposal to you, don't trust it.
His response "don't get defensive" "this is water under the bridge" and then in the next sentence he says: "in the future, when she calls you, it is not about your field. It is about my field, and you should refer her to me."
I'm sorry... when did he become psychic? when did he suddenly know everything that is going on in the mind of this woman that he has never met? at this client that we don't work for.
I'm going to stop now 'cause its just making me angry.
and Martha Stewart, if you have snoops out there searching for your name in random contexts, please! please! please! share your experiences. We don't care if you were called a bitch. We don't care if they say you are cold and uncaring. We don't care if they chastise you for putting business first, and your personal life second.
Because they have called us those things too.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

A theory on a new topic - "terrible" twos

Here's a thought.
When your kid is a baby, not communicating intent, only demanding fulfillment of basic needs, you make all the decisions. You can pick the kid up and move it, you can feed it what you like, you give it something to play with, you are calling all the shots.
Once the kid starts to think, it wants to have more autonomy. Ok, so I know that's the definition of terrible two... kid claiming independance. But usually people put that on the kid... the kid is naughty, the kid has a temper, the kid is demanding, the kid won't do what its told.
My thought, is maybe this is really about the parent. You are stuck in a rut, you are used to a type of behavior, you are not used to letting your kid call the shots. Think about a six year old. You allow the kid autonomy, and you talk to them about things you want them to do. "Please will you put on your shoes" - whereas with the 2YO, YOU try to put on the shoes.
So maybe an idea would be to start reasoning with your kid early on so that when you hit that autonomy age, the kid has the feeling of decision because you are talking to it, rather than just doing.

Perhaps you've already figured this out, and I'm the one who's lagging.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Another Theory about Management

Do you know how to tell when the employees of a company suck, ie they are not very good at doing their job?
When the management give you instruction, they explain every . tiny . d.e.t.a.i.l.
this is another one of those self supporting cycles. They treat you like you can't do anything without explicit instruction, you keep getting explicit instruction, so you stop thinking for yourself, they think you can't do anything without them, so they give you explicit instruction, and the cycle continues.
If you want examples, let me know (via email) 'cause I'm not making those public.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

My dream Job!

For the past couple of days, I've been talking a lot about my thoughts on a piece of technology. The discussions have been with a couple of different people; they are engaged and interested in my answers, and I get completely taken away by how exciting it is to talk about my opinion on the subject.
I feel kind of weird that I enjoy the conversation to much, and I started wondering last night why it makes me so excited.
I think one of the factors is that when someone is paying attention to your opinion like that it just gives you lots of energy. You are getting complete attention, you are engaged, and you are connected. The other part is harder to understand...
I think it is because I like to figure things out; I like to solve problems; I like to look for the problems, and think about ways to solve them. I also like to put things together, think about efficiency, think about process.
I remember when we were kids, my parents would always buy my brother model airplanes. He used to throw them together, getting glue everywhere, ripping the emblems. Sometimes they would sit there unmade. I don't think it was something that excited him, it was just something that he'd been given to do and occupy his time. I LONGED for those airplanes. I wanted them SO much. I wanted to carefully take apart the pieces from the frame, carefully follow the instructions, carefully assemble them. I am pretty sure that I must have asked for one because I wanted them so badly. But I know I never got them.
When I could buy my own things (!) for myself (!) I bought the model of a Dodge RAM and put that together.... but I have found something that is even more fun than a stupid useless airplane, or a silly car............. IKEA FURNITURE!
I think that stuff is worth the money just for the enjoyment of assembling it !!!!
so, I figure I have always enjoyed the process and the problem solving. And technology changes so much all the time, there is always something to figure out. This current trend of discussion about my thoughts and opinions.... I am LOVING it!!!
I wish I could make it my JOB!

Monday, December 11, 2006

the season

I have been pretty behind on my blog reading and writing this past week.
My new workout regime has kept me pretty busy, and tired/drained.
I caught up on my reading this weekend, and realize that everyone is getting ready for the holidays with decorating, and cooking, and shopping.
I plan to make all my gift purchases online because I am in NO mood for parking and malling!
A couple weeks ago I went to the mall on a Sat afternoon with the intent of running into the Gap and replacing a pair of jeans that had ripped. I drove through half of the parking lot and there were no spaces! Plus there were people stalking the mall leavers to follow them to their parking spaces. So I said, screw it, and left. Its not like I needed those jeans NOW! I starting thinking that 10-noon on a Sunday would be a good time to go 'cause all those people would be at CHURCH! ha ha.
Anyway.... I am behind on doing my cards! I am behind on doing my online shopping! I am only not behind on my kitchen! which is all moved in and ready to function.
This weekend is the cookie baking extravaganza. See archives for past editions (posting from email therefore no quick access to link links).
I have so much going on, I actually think I'm going to take a calendar and write it all down!
Its probably not as much as the past, but I have a harder time getting things done now that I'm OLD!
I'll let you know how it all goes.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Kitchen - at 98%

Before, During, and After
We are 98% done with construction - and 100% moved in!

Friday, December 08, 2006

I'm thinking about it

(the kitchen is move-in-able, so I just washed just about everything I own - note to self, wear gloves! - and I'm waiting for it to dry; this is not easy!)

What is it that I had in my 20s that I don't have now.

I don't think I understood about being a woman when I was in my 20s. I wouldn't say I was a tomboy, but I didn't see any difference between men and woman. I didn't know what it was that made me interesting or appealing as a woman. I do now, but my body is starting to look its age. If you don't know me, that may be a strange statement, but I have always looked very young. In fact, about 6 years ago, someone asked me if I was 18, and 2 years ago, someone asked me if I was 24 (I will be 40 in 2 years), so that's some real young looking. But, I think over the last year, I have started to look my age. This is one of the reasons I got the PT... I want to be in shape when I turn 40. I want to be firm, fit, and energetic. I am REALLY worried about the progression of the metabolism slow-down. I don't want it to upset me as much as it did in my 20s.

I also think that when I was younger I had a confidence with serious blinders, and through time, I've been "hit" by confidence busters. I was definately more carefree in my 20s, more confident, and I think I was "lighter"...

I look at all the young-uns at the gym and I think, I used to be that confident; I wish I could tell them how to hold on to it.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


When I was in my 20s, I wanted to be the person that I am today.
Today, I want to be the person I was in my 20s.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

December, the month of missing

When I was a kid, we lived in a very rural part of South Africa... all of the people around us were Christian. Like here, all the ad's, media, and talk in Dec was about being festive. Keep in mind, that being in the S'rn hemisphere, South Africa was in the middle of summer during the Christmas holidays.
So, American and British TV were going on about snow, decorations, trees, presents, spicey smells, apple pie, roast dinners, and all things warm, cuddley, homey, and cozy.
We didn't have any of that.
It was sunny, hot, this was the season of the beach holiday. There were no pine trees, and being Jewish, there were no presents (exchanging gifts at Hannukah is not a universal amongst the Jews, its pretty isolated to the US materialistic capitalistic culture), family gatherings, big roast meals, or applie pies (definatly also a US phenomenon).
I felt very left out.
Another factor, I suppose, was that I don't have a big family, so there were none of those "home for the holidays" overflowing house experiences of idiosyncratic relatives and all of that were not occurrences of December. Yes, we had that WHOLE experience, complete with incredibly delicious food at the annual Seder at my Dad's cousin's... but you know, TV, movies, and the media didn't really go all out for that like they did for Christmas.
Now, my parents, being all caring, would give us a token little celebration. We would get a few presents... all in the name of "this is for your grandmother's sake"... and she would have a little tree, and we'd go over to her house and open up the presents... but for me, it wasn't the same without the big dead pine tree, the decorations, the smells, and the hordes of relatives (my mother's sister had kids when I was older, so even on the maternal side, there wasn't a lot of family running around these little gatherings).
When I went to college, there were a couple years where I spent the holidays with friends or boyfriends, and I really enjoyed those. They were also small family gatherings, but it was cold and snowy in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Hampshire. There were trees, and family ornaments, and presents.
As I get further away from having the need to experience organized religion, I still miss that feeling of home and cozy in December. Having my own home would seem like a good reason to do the whole thing.... but when you don't really practice a Christian religion, it just seems weird to do the whole thing. One year, my aunt and uncle came over from South Africa, and that seemed like the biggest reason of all to go ALL OUT. I got a tree that was as high as our ceiling. My first! I didn't want to buy ornaments, so I baked gingerbread cookies, and had friends help me string popcorn cranberry garlands. I added lights and some candycanes. It was very beautiful.
...but after all was said and done, my mom started having horrific allergy attacks, and the only thing we could figure caused them, was the tree... so out it went.
Over time, I have found a compromise. I still live in a snowless environment, although it is cold here... at night. But I can make my home have that cozy feel, and I fill my house with my friends by having at least one holiday "party", and I'm over presents, although we do them on a very small scale. a result, I don't "miss" so much in December anymore.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Happy Birthday, Mom

Today is my Mom's birthday.

She has always been a creative person. Mostly using fabric as her medium. When I was young she was always doing an embroidery or tapestry of some sort, and I remember applique became the rage for a while, combined even with the embroidery. When we moved to America she made the obligatory geometric quilt, that oh so American of handiwork traditions. But my mother is not ordinary, and she is not geometric, so that wasn't going to do. She has been playing with different types of concepts now that all of these fabric and thread art forms have smoldered inside her left brain, and they have emerged from her into an expression of original creativity. She has become making fabric art. Since I think sometimes that I am the guinea pig receipient of the first try, like the first pancake in the batch, I would like to say that it started with a tapestry she made for us and our first home. I don't know that we ever hung that up in that house, but our new house had the perfect spot.





...and then she told me she wanted to try crazy quilts, and wanted to make me pillows, so I said, make them like Sassy toys.


...and then it just evolved into a fabric art craziness!!!

000_0528 (2)

.... and now... someone saw her art at the coffee shop and she's having exhibits all over the place!!

So - in homage to my Mother...
happy birthday, and may the creative force be with you propelling you into retirement from one career, and into another that motivates, releases, and invigorates you.


Getting into the spirit of the season

Its more sparkley in real life. And it does what I wanted... Tannenbaum that represents winter and desert. Do you think this works?

It kinda makes the house feel more festive.


Saturday, December 02, 2006

Plans for Sat

yes, you can tell me I'm a nut!
I am glad that its Sat... and I have plans! G. has a training thing at work, and so I'm going to regrout the bathroom sinks 'cause the current grout is coming out and the water is leaking down into the cabinets.
Then, I'm going to cut a dead branch out of a tree and put it in the house to create a festive feel... yup, in my mind, that has the potential to be festive!
We are planning a "boxing day" cocktail party... a lot of our friends who live in other parts of the country will be here, and so we're doing this to have everyone in the same place at the same time... I have "decorating" plans to make the house feel "wintery"... see... dead branch = winter. I'm going to make cutout snowflakes, we'll make fires (and recommend the guests come in T-shirts!), and have spiced cider and things that smell good. It just sounds all warm and homey thinking about it... I think that I need to think about "nesting" things since I still don't have a KITCHEN!
Wed the cabinet people put in some of the trim that was missing, but they still need to put handles on the drawers (they need spacers), and one of the doors was so badly damaged.... that they took it away!!!!! I have no idea what was wrong with that door 'cause it looked fine to us!
They come back on Monday to finish the cabinets - and RUMOR has it the granite will be here on Tues. I left a message for the contractor saying that I need water and clean cabinets by Dec 14 because I am going to take off the 15 to wash everything and put it away. I have the annual cookie baking insanity on the 16th, and I need my kitchen in working order! I'm looking forward to this baking extravaganza as the initiation of the new kitchen. With hope, there will be a ding and a mess, and flour everywhere... I do this with 2 friends - K. is the opposite of me... I'm meticulous and measuring, and planning, and focused; she's all over the place, and three cookies going at once, and faking the measuring and we have learned to work around each other; B. is completely different to both of us. She makes things up! and totally does her own thing... its TOTALLY exhausting! Anyway... I want my kitchen to be done for that.
I looked at my calendar today and kinda blocked off when I'm going to do what for this holiday season... one thing that makes me sad every year... we don't have a lot of cocktail parties to go to. I believe there are three on the schedule this year (including our own!), so that's two more than usual...
I don't know why more people we know don't do open houses or cocktail parties... and then I wonder, even if they did... would we go?
and maybe they do... but because we don't go, they don't invite us anymore.....
and then I also think that the issue isn't the lack of parties, or where they are... the issue is that I want those TV/Movie cocktail parties that are always happening in NY or Washington... so I'm missing something that doesn't even EXIST in the desert!
December has always been a month of missing things for me, maybe that's the root of the issue....

first things first

Kate was cold.



Friday, December 01, 2006

random thoughts

I had a lot of thoughts on the way to work this morning, let's see if I can remember them
- note to self - figure out the speech thing on the umpc so you can dictate in the car !
CONFIRMED: lisa is a GEEK!
gym.... once, I read on someone else's blog, a really funny thing or two about the ladies locker room at the gym. It was super funny because of how real it was... come to think of it, I might be able to find those posts - sidetrack! found it This morning, I thought of those observations because the locker room at my gym is hysterical. Its very nice! Like, spa nice! carpets, cherry-like lockers, hairdryers, kleenex, big mirrors, little mirror stands that aren't by the sinks, marble tile, lots of towels !! They have soap dispensers in the showers (which are separated by walls and have curtains), which I use (is that wrong?) because since everything at the Lifetime is from MN, and the Lifetime SPA is all Aveda, I kinda thought they would have nice soap. I like it... it doesn't dry you out and all that... anyway. I get there just before 7am, which is when the RUSH is getting ready to leave, and its ridiculous... all these woman naked or in bras and towels like they are at home... prancing around, is smells like perfume, hairspray, and deodorant! After my workout, its much quieter... like all the stay-at-home moms are in there at 8am... This morning, there was a woman walking around in a green silk bathrobe! with little white flips, which she TOOK OFF to weigh herself... I have expected the robe to come off too... then she went in the shower and came out later with shaving cream, razor, soap, shampoo, and one of those puffy plastic buffy things!!! I mean, come on! this is a GYM... and please note, that there are NO permanent lockers, which means she carts all this stuff back and forth every day!! geez louise! I was speechless.
listening to Slate podcast about Girth Control... the author was comparing birth control methods to weight control methods - very funny, but one line got my attention:
The benefits of birth control:
"You get the orgasms without the organisms."
I've been watching brothers & sisters... mildly entertaining... but my favorite thing about it is the writing for the Calista Flockhart character.... There have been some serious gems, and I'm thinking of starting to take notes! I can't actually remember any of them now, so, I really should try to find those one-liners!
BTW - thanks D and R for the congrats!!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

n=30 one continuous month

Well, I made it.

I'm kinda proud, actually…

I think that this was actually a very valuable experience, and I'm glad I took on the challenge. I didn't know whether or not I would make it, and I'm sure it was touch and go there for a while, especially yesterday… didn't think I'd make that one at all.


The most valuable things I learned:


Rebecca and I are very much alike.

I should have spent more time chatting with her when we were stuck in a Mexican beach house two years ago!

I can write something interesting if I put my mind to it.

Yahoo has people running bots to make sure no-one out there is unhappy… I'm happy about that one   =)

I have visitors!!


Anyway… now that my obligation to post is over, I feel obliged to continue the trend of posting regularly. But, what I will do is continue to take on the challenge of thinking of something interesting. I won't just go on about nothing like I did at the beginning of this exercise. I will continue to take the time to muse on a subject. And if I don't have anything interesting to say, I won't post.


How's that?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

n=29 ok, the pilot is snoring

I’m sitting on a plane, using my Q1 to type you a message. I’m sitting next to a pilot who flied for a competing airline, he says he’s just getting a ride. Next to him is an old man, who I think is eating grapes… or cherries… its hard to tell because he has the bag kinda hidden. The pilot offered us all some gummy snakes, but the old man is not offering anything.
There was a man who came on carrying a piece of wood. It look hollow-core like a door. It wouldn’t fit anywhere, and the flight attendant was getting a little annoyed with him. Eventually she took it and checked it. I was wondering if the sticker would stay stuck, or if the baggage people would forget it in the hold, thinking it was meant to be there, or that it couldn’t actually be anything of importance.

Ok – the pilot is snoring.

Today was exhausting. Yesterday I just sat in a meeting and watched, today, I had to talk, listen, and absorb. By noon I was saturated. I don’t think I slept well last night because I was tired all day. Right now, I’m very hungry… and sleepy. I am relieved to find out that my company has some people with serious expertise in the area that I needed, and they have availability to help me on my project. Whew, in a major way!! I really didn’t want to learn how to do all this stuff.

Anyway, I’m going to watch a movie, and pretend I’m somewhere far away.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

n=28 home stretch

Three more days of blogging in Nov to make the goal!! And one more night and day away from home, so home stretch on two fronts.

I've realized being here that a lot of my musings come during traffic driving, and so when I'm not driving in traffic, I'm not really musing... now airplanes... you can look through my archives for the insightful uplifting things I've written on airplanes... not!

Geez - preview of Happy Feet on HBO... this seems to be pretty much the WHOLE movie with narration! and does it look cheezy.... I was hoping it would be like the Madagascar penguins... but, ah, no, its the Marching movie in English and animation.

I'll see you guys tomorrow due to tiredness of the right now.

Monday, November 27, 2006

n=27 to be friends, or not

Well I just made the trek across the country and I'm in Alexandria, Virginia. My company has an office here and I will be meeting with some of the people to learn about our capabilities.


This flight wasn't so bad. Not as bad as flights can be for me. I watched two movies on my computer. I love my umpc. I have an extended battery now, which got the computer and DVD player and me all the way across the country. Movies are really the only way for me to make flying bearable – when I'm on my own.


I'll be pretty busy the next couple days, so I'm not sure that I will have time to think about topics worthy of musings… but you never know when those little pieces pop into your mind.


For example, flying in today, I thought about all the blogs I read that are from people who live here. Chris at RudeCactus, and Amalah, and I wondered what they were up to. Unlike a TV show, where you might find that you feel you know someone well from watching, these bloggers are real people, they are not characters. But, like Heather at "This Fish Needs a Bicycle" said, I don't actually know them, and for sure they don't know me. So I guess I won't be knocking on any doors. But, it might be fun to meet some of the bloggers I read… so that's my thought for today… I'll think about picking one and we'll see if we can make that happen.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

n=26 ASU

Last night we went to downtown Tempe for dinner, and decided to give Stranger Than Fiction another try. We had gone to the Chandler Fashion Square the night before, 35 mins early, and the movie was sold out. We figured it would be less busy on Mill.
Anyway... when we were parking we noticed a ton of people walking with chairs, we thought it could be the art fair, or a game at the stadium, but no, it was the Festival of Lights. The parade was the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen... but, hey, A for effort, Tempe!
We had dinner and walked over to Mill to the team shop. My older 1/2 brother is going to ASU next semester as part of an exchange program. I thought I would get him something in maroon and gold - you know, team spirit and all that.
Being on Mill, so close to the University, we started talking about what it is that those undergrads do for entertainment... anything we say is a guess 'cause we have no idea. And we realized, that D being here will give us the inside scoop. Then I thought that it was kinda weird that this is where I've called home for the last 6 years, and I've never been a part of ASU. Yet, here comes my brother for a couple of months, and he's going to be more "in" than I have ever been. I have lived so far away from family for so long that its really weird for me to think of someone in my family living in the same place as me.
I am SO excited about being near D for this time, I can't even tell you. Even if I only see him a couple of times, its really cool to think that he will have an experience of my "home" even if its from a more drunk point of view than mine usually is.
And yes, Stranger Than Fiction was worth all the trying... it was a very nice movie. Just my style - kinda slow, interesting characters, humor, and nice.

how apropros

This quote was in the Jackrabbit Speaks - current Burning Man newsletter:

"Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that
you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover."
--Mark Twain

Saturday, November 25, 2006

n=25 oh, that American holiday of thanks

So, not being an American by birth.... meant that I had to learn about Thanksgiving. I think that eventhough I'd been in the US three years before college, it was college where I first was affected by the holiday. We had the four days off school, and I had to figure out what to do. At first it was all very confusing because noone could answer my two questions... what is Thanksgiving, and when is Thanksgiving, yup, more "ah, dunno"'s than answers. But I soon learned about pilgrims and giving thanks and all that.
Every year, I'd experience some other friend's family tradition of the holiday. My mother being miles away, and the rest of my family miles, miles, and miles away, and besides, we all didn't really care!
So sitting at different dinner tables and learning the different traditions and recipes was really fun - especially for an anthro major, of course!
Now that I have been through it for, oh, so many years, I have done the whole dinner myself, I have maintained my tradition of visiting, it has come to be my favorite holiday.
Non-denominational, EVERYONE participates, its associated with being with family or friends, and everyone either talks or thinks about giving thanks.
But today, I realized that now I have another reason in my back pocket. I get four days off work... and so does everyone else... so its not like there are accumulating emails and messages... there's just nothing.
Anyway.... I have a lot to be thankful for, but right now, I'd just like to let you know, you Americans, that I am thankful to you for your holiday of thanks.
PS. I'd just like to add that this year may have been my favorite experience. My friends have been doing potluck T'givings for a while now, everyone bringing a different dish. Starting last year, it seemed we hit a groove because the food was incredible, well, this year, not only was the food great, but we had this controlled frenzy of activity and energy with the addition of new people, some very cool kids, a really cute toddler, and the usual cast. I am very grateful for my friends here in AZ, and when we have a clicking good time at a potluck like that, I know we are all in a good place.

Friday, November 24, 2006

n=24 finality

We all know that our time in life is finite. Its a reality that we live with in a certain level of denial. But then something happens to make it a reality, and its a bit of a slap in the face.At least for me it is.
I realize that I live my life waiting. for all different things, it seems. When I was a kid I was waiting to grow up so that I could live alone, when I was a teenager I was waiting to find someone to share my life with, when I was in college I was waiting to achieve my goals, now here I am... in a career, not living at home, and sharing my life with someone. So what am I waiting for now? my death? illness? the signs of growing old? illness in my loved ones? happiness?
There is a thing about that point when you have finished college and you realize that you've reached your goals and now you have to make a conscious decision about what comes next. At that point, you are completely in control of your destiny. You have given yourself the knowledge to be able to make the next step decision. How much are you looking forward as opposed to experiencing the present?
I realize today, well, I realized it a long time ago, but its hitting home today that I spend too much time waiting, and I want to spend more time experiencing, and doing.
Its a hard paradigm/mind shift for me... so bare with my while I try to get the hang of it.
In the meantime, I'm waiting for my kitchen to be done, I'm waiting for my mom to arrive in Dec, and I'm waiting for my vacation in January. I am also waiting for news from Oz, and I'm hoping that its news worth waiting for.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

n=23 public or private

I have a very unique name. In all the years of my life I have never met, seen, or heard of someone else with my name. In all the years of me being on the internet, I have gone to register at a website, and found that my name is still available. I do a search on my name, and everything that comes up is something about me.

So, when I wanted to experiment with Blogger, I used my name. You can tell by my archives that I didn't post for a while, and then when I came back to actually blog, I used this site instead of creating a new one. And now I have my audience of you, and you know who I am.

In my surfing of blogs I have learned that there are people out there who have had very bad experiences when their blogs have become linked to them. And so I have been wondering about my "safety" since mine is so, so, public and so, so connected to me.

Would it be a problem for my employer to read my site? my employees? my collegues? and what if I go looking for another job? How would this site represent me?

I have tried to be honest, and have integrity in how I post. But I do swear, I do post some of my more "radical" opinions, would all of that have an affect*?

so, I've been wondering lately if I should be more careful, switch to a more anonymous site, or let it go.

*if its effect, just keep it to yourself, I've been sitting in my bed for 3 hours screwing around online, I don't feel like thinking about aff's and eff's!!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

n=22 How about this?

I've heard of these things before, but this was my first sighting.


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

n=21 oh, I love working at an engineering firm

This is supposed to be a long post about the woe's of working for a firm that is rooted in the very masculine world of engineering. But, I hate thinking about inequality and differential treatment as a reality.
Today was one of those days where I thought "if I was a guy, this would not have happened"
Basically, one of my employees, a guy, came in my office and YELLED at me for a good 20 minutes about all the things that are "wrong" with me, the episode started with the phrase "I came in with the intension of quitting today..." and basically went from there with the last sentence being " then why don't you fire me?!"
and I sat here thinking.... I'm the only woman in my office with a position of management that affords me an office. All of the other project and division managers sitting in their offices, would their employees go in and say these things to them?
I made a conscious effort not to engage him.
I allowed him to just say everything he had to say.
and believe me, there was no room in there for a response if I had wanted to say something.... you know, when someone basically cuts off any options you have in their ranting.
I told a male friend about what had happened, and he said that if someone did that to him, he would have called security, and had the person escorted out of his office.
so - there's the difference between a man and a woman.
or is it the nature of the HR process at my company vs his?
for the record, said employee went back to their business thereafter and has been happily engaging people all over the office.
Is this a need for emotional catharsis and I was a handy target?
anyway you look at it, it is unacceptible.

Monday, November 20, 2006

n=20 role models?

touche, Rebecca.
I took you seriously, and I thought about something musing instead of just coping out with an "I've got nothing to say" attitude.
I listen to podcasts in my car because my life is being sucked away by traffic, and at least I like to be entertained by distraction. I listen to several, I can go into that later, but one I really enjoy is the Slate magazine daily. Usually these are 7-10 minutes on some topic of interest, and they have an entertaining gabfest on Fridays about the week's political topics. Over the past weeks, they have been playing some of the taped sessions at a conference they hosted on philanthropy.
I just finished listening to the keynote speech given by President Clinton (see Nov 14). I had many thoughts while listening to this speech, which I can talk about later, but the thought I would like to share is this.
Being the President was not a job suited to him. He is too talented, too charismatic, too driven, too interested in making change. However, being the President has given him all the tools he needs to do what he is really made to do - as an ex-President. Even the Monica thing was a life experience that has given him character, and humility.
When you are the President, you are being controlled by politics and image and donors, I'm sure... but when you are not the President, you can have strong opinions, and pursue agendas, and be focused on a task. He is one of the best things that has happened to the world, I think. He worked very hard as a President to bring peace, and now, he is using his experience, relationships, and passion to make change in the world as a whole. It is very impressive.
I also watched a biography this weekend about Jamie Oliver. He was famous in his 20's as the Naked Chef on BBC, he became overexposed because of commercials for a UK shopping market and the public turned on him; what did he do? he took his own money to start a restaurant where he would train unemployed people to become chefs. These were people who were his age or older. That was a success. Did he stop there? no, he petitioned the UK government to use more of their budget to fund catering at the public schools, he challenged them to let him implement a program in all the schools to get the kids to eat healthy food. And it worked... Therefore, he has two successful programs that live on - Fifteen and the school lunches - and he only just turned 30; and this was all done on his own conscience and effort, started because he was turned on by the UK public. WOW!!!!!!
I know that I do not have the same drive as these people to A) think of these progressive world changing things, and B) have the drive to make it happen. But I do know that I have the skills to make what they think of happen .....
muse on that!

fucking kitchens; and patios; and toasters; and everything else that exists

[scene: preparing to go out and sorting out the eating plans for the next morning]
me shouting: I can't believe I still don't have a fucking kitchen and I'm sick and tired of pretending that everying is ok being relegated to the fucking patio as a pretend kitchen. (or something to that affect - all's I know for sure is that everything was fucking)
him calmly: that's a stupid thing to say
me not so calm: Did you just say that what I said was stupid?
him calmly: yes
me IRRITATED: are you talking about my comment about the kitchen or the patio?
him calmly: neither, kitchens and patios don't fuck. Have you ever seen a fucking patio? no!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

n=19 at the spa

"Is it time for my massage?
well then I'll have another mimosa."

n=18 yikes!

nearly missed today!

This whole daily thing is tough!
I wonder, is it better to just post when you have something to say?
or is the goal to try and be insightful everyday?

I guess since my blog is "musings" that can be my topic of musing for the 18th!

Friday, November 17, 2006

n=17 drunk

oh, boy, I had another bad day at work.
so we walked to the italian place so we could drink wine, and now I'm home, its late, and I nearly missed 17 which would be REALLY bad considering how much I wanted to be on the listing, and then it would suck if today was the day I BLEW it... but now, I'm musing about drivel!

I was going to take a photo of my car clock so you could see how late I was driving home, but the flash and photos, and dark was bad, so nothing.

Yay! weekend!!!
What are you going to bring o' weekend?!
Alas still an unfinished kitchen, but lo' we rehung some pics so it feels a teensy little bit more like "home".

hey, I know, I'll post ya a photo.... how 'bout in the mornin', though... due to extreme unable to focusness.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

I would never have thought

I just went to the NaBloPoMo site where are the participants are listed... and guess what! I'm not on it!!
I found where I "signed up", and I know there were a lot of people to keep track of, so I can understand how a little me could get missed... but realizing that this is half done, there's all these things that are getting people visited, and how much I have enjoyed the new visitors I *have* had, I'm really sad that I might have missed out on a whole bunch more!!!
I would never have thought that something like this would bum me out.
I guess I should be really psyched that I have new readers and new commenters, and I learned things about old friends that I didn't know, and I posted a whole hell of a lot!! so something was gained anyway, right?! 

n=16 argh!

I got up at 5:30 to be ready by 6:00 am for my ride to Tucson.
6:30, not here yet, so I call - he's still about 20 mins away!
6:50ish, get on the road to Tucson.
I had not eaten breakfast 'cause I figured we'd stop at strbcks on the way, and now we were about 45 mins late, so no stopping.
8:40 get to meeting
sit in meeting until 1pm
1pm eat BBQ - in TWO SECONDS!!!!
back to meetings.
4pm - give up. leave.
take circuitious route through Tucson to find a coffee place.
drink a chai and a water, eat madelines - after yesterday, I know I don't need those, but who CARES!
drive through Tucson traffic to get to highway.
6:30 get home.

there are emails I should respond to
there are things I should do
but, for GOOD reason... I feel sick
and I'm tired, so I'm fucking going to veg on the couch and watch TV!!

you in my inbox... you don't mind waiting another day do you???

love ya!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

n=15 personal trainer

Today I met with a personal trainer.
This is not the first time that I've met with one, but maybe this is the first time I felt it was real.

The first time was at my old gym, when I joined up they gave me the free sign-up session. Didn't stick. I felt like they were normalizing me like putting me through the sausage factory.... ""

A month ago, I thought I'd give it a try at my current gym. I have friends who work with trainers here, and my one friend LOVES her trainer.
So I went to the trainer counter and asked them how it works. A young girl "got" me, I figured I'd give her the benefit of the doubt and saw it through the intro meeting. Again... "" but with a different flavor - NOT!
I told my friend who loves her trainer, and woo hoo, she hooked me up. Well that's who I met with today. And, yeah, she's good. She listened to what I said my goals were, and she explained to me what I need to do to get there. I heard her, and I signed up.

But, I have to say, its a little humiliating! Like, "umm, this body you have, you're not really using it right, see here? all these numbers, they say that you don't know what you're doing! ah, yeah, this running program you're putting yourself on? its not gonna work, 'cause, umm, you don't know what you're doing."
now - she did not say these things to me, and she was actually very nice with me, I'm just saying, this is like the deep seeded issue I have with whether or not I can take care of my body.

Anyway, we are on the path to recovery. Soon to be personal trained!! and I'm hoping that I'll look like Jennifer Aniston, no, not her face, her BODY! she's the same age as me, that's why she's my "goal" look.

later, I'm going to eat some FAT!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

n=14 high emotion

What do you do when you are in a moment and your emotions get elevated?
Do you scream and shout? do you punch and hit? do you hold it in and release it later?

What about a situation that you go into with high emotion but you know you have to keep it under control?
Do you talk softer? does your voice crackle? do you scream and shout?

I cry.
GOD I hate it!
Its not sobbing crying, just tears running down my face.
It looks like weakness, but its just the release of emotion, and when I am angry, that's the physical response. It really does not work. And every time I'm in one of those situations, I think "control it, control it"...
but it never fails.
My physical response wins.

this is just not a good behavior if you want to be considered seriously at work

Monday, November 13, 2006

n=13 on marriage

This one is hard because I've never thought about how I came to have my opinions on marriage. I'll have to think about it as I go here...

I am a pretty self-sufficient person. I think I have always been this was - as I hear from my mother. I don't ever remember thinking about being married or in a relationship when I was a child. I used to dream and plan about what I would do when I had my own apartment. I had lots of plans for when I was finally not living at home.
Keep in mind, also, that at the age of 6, I decided that I would move to America, which means that I never had any long term plans for South Africa. All my plans had me living without my family in America.
I have NEVER, EVER, imagined myself in a wedding dress. I have never imagined my perfect wedding day. I have never ever thought about that ONE DAY.
I did, however, imagine the companionship and partnership of sharing my life.

Being such a... I hate all the words that can be used to describe me because at some point in my life they have been used as a negative - even though it is a matter of opinion which way they go, so let's just say: being the way I am, I didn't have a lot of attention from guys in high school. They were chauvanistic men who wanted wives. Maybe that's when I started feeling like I was not going to be a wife.
I remember one time sitting around with a bunch of girls and they were talking about how they didn't see the need to learn to drive because their husbands would drive them everywhere they needed to go! Now, in my mind... driving was my first step in the plan to that little apartment. Nowhere in my plan was there a husband.

moving on - to anthropology.
I think this should be a required subject in college, like science and English. Why? because it teaches you about "other"... it makes you realize that there is not ONE WAY... all over the world there are people living their lives in a social system that they believe is right, and The One. But guess what?! it completely contradicts YOURS!! haha... what are you supposed to do about that?! I love it.

Anyway... matriarchal, multiple wives, multiple husbands, bands, tribes, villages, one god, many, spirits, witchcraft, huts, houses, so much diversity in the world. What did I take from all of this for myself? anything is acceptible, and you can define your life if you want to. That is my freedom. I want to live my life on my terms, not those defined by society. The society that I live in, keep in mind, 'cause they are all different.

which leads you to realizing that marriage is not a necessity. It is not an end, it is not a goal, it is just a convention of THIS society.

I do not want to be someone's "wife". I do not want someone to define themselves as my "husband". I do not want what comes with our culture's perception of that word: marriage
(And the fact that people are all worked up about it with the whole gay marriage thing proves my point - but that's another story).

so here I am... I do not need my relationship with my partner to be defined by the legal proceedings of the state I live in. I do not need to define my relationship with Mr. B for you. I only need to define my relationship for me; and we do that everyday when we interact, make decisions, overcome advesity, look at our home, look at our life, make each other laugh, and on and on.
why, on earth, do I need a piece of paper filed in a courthouse to do that for me?

Let me tell you, though, that this is THE most often asked question... people do not understand my decision.
and when they ask
"why are you not married?"
my answer is now:
"I have not yet heard a good enough reason." and of course, said person goes through their opinion of why we should be married:
kids (if gay couples can adopt, and they can't get married, why can't we?)
expression of love (nice one! I don't love Greg?!)
committment (ha ha... if someone is "committed" to you because of a paper, they are not committed to you... they are required by law to be with you... yip, that's the relationship *I* want)
security (huh?)

Greg and I have been doing this for 13 years. We have papers filed at a lawyer's that give us all those legal rights that marriage gives us... but guess what...

My friends tell me that they are married because it is something that they wanted. Now, implicit in that statement is the expression that it was something that they needed to do. They do not judge me for not being married, and I do not judge them for being married. They understand that it is not something that I want, just as I understand that it is something they they want.

does that make sense?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

n=12 in response to Rebecca; why I don't have kids

ok, children first.
I'll stick to the highlights, so if anyone wants elaboration, let me know.

My mom and my aunt are elementary school teachers, so my childhood was filled with them developing lesson plans and talking about children and how they "work". I don't even know if I can say what it is that I absorbed those years, but I do know that I have an intrinsic understanding of how kids work.

Second, my aunt had kids later in life, and I was 11 when the first was born, so I was the perfect age for childcare slavery. My aunt and I were really close and so she let me do pretty much everything. My cousins were born 2 years apart, so that was some concentrated childrearing experience. And I kinda felt like I had, through those experiences, "done" the childrearing thing. So it has never been an experience that I felt I needed to have.

But the REALLY big deciding factor was that when my aunt was about 6 months pregnant, she and my mom had a conversation about all the things that can go wrong during pregnancy and childbirth. I think I pretty much decided at that point that I was never going to do that to myself (at the age of 11, I actually decided that I was going to get a hysterectomy when I was 18 - how's that for being decisive?) So that seed of a decision was given water and sunlight as I realized other things about pregnancy and childbirth through life - I'm not even going to go through the list.

(I told my aunt all this recently, and it really upset her 'cause she didn't want to be "blamed" for my decision - but you know, there had to be something in me that felt this way for those realizations to attach to)

Next - I am a pretty competitive, ambitious person... and I wanted to make sure that I was confident in my career before I did anthing to compromise it.
I also like new experiences and learning, so the idea of going back and doing something I've already done doesn't ever attract me. If I had never been a part of a new-born becoming a kid, I might want to give it a try, but since I feel that I've had that experience in a major way, its not a place I need to go to.

and Finally - as I've gotten older, and become comfortable with my life, I've learned and realized about the hell that is the life of a foster child, or child up for adoption. And my (I guess its political?) point of view has become that there are so many children out there who have the potential to become something with the right nurturing that its selfish to create another kid when you are a happy couple/life that has stability and love to offer.
JUST PLEASE NOTE: this is my opinion, and in no way does it mean I judge people who give birth!

so those are the big point in the book of "Why Lisa doesn't want to give birth to a baby".

how about you?

(rebecca, you're a sneaky sneak! I thought it was you, but I wasn't 100% sure until you commented at Mr. DRB!! now I realize you're more interested in why I'm not married, 'cause you have 2 great kids, so it can't be the kid thing that you identify with (?)...)

n=11 whew!

Today was so busy! I didn't get 1/2 the things done that I wanted to!
I promise I'll do a better post tomorrow.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Conversations with Aaron B Stiner - Shout Out

Aaron is at it again. He would like to try and create a new means of communication. Are you interested in giving it a go?

Friday, November 10, 2006

n=10 A special shout-out

I love Ryan Kennedy.

He got me a response to this issue I was having. And not only that, the person has actually offered to make sure to see the resolution through.

and this brings me to an interesting feeling.
obviously, Mr. Kennedy found my issue because I turned up in a search or some other type of tracking thing he does to find Yahoo! mail out there.
and its kinda funny to "meet" someone this way, and its kinda funny to do "business" by posting a whiney moan in my blog and get help on an issue.
but it also kinda feels good.

I guess, this is an official documenting of my official visibility in the blog world

and I guess I like that.

I haven't been trying very hard to make it happen, so I'm surprised, and I like it!!

but enough about me...

THANK YOU Ryan Kennedy!!! thank you VERY much!!!!!!
for finding me, for pinging "M", for helping!!

(see, it doesn't take much to make me happy)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

n=9 Ramblings and offers

Today I am in a "numb" mood. I think its because I'm tired from not sleeping well last night. Greg got up to turn off the spa filter - something wrong there - around 2am and I didn't really fall asleep again after that. I then spent 2.5 hours driving in traffic to return the rental and pick up my car from yesterday. Since it was pretty cold this morning, I didn't take down the Miata top, so that was kind of a bummer.

Anyway... I am plodding through crap at work. I am very stressed out, and not having a kitchen stresses me out, and money stresses me out, and worrying about all of that crap stresses me out, and working late hours so that I don't get to do my extra-curricular activities pisses me off! and then I feel unfit and like its SO FAR to work back up to where I want to be... and then I feel old, which makes me feel like I LOOK old, and then I get depressed, and stressed, 'cause my life is flying by, and am I really doing what I want to be doing? and am I really spending my time in the way I want? so that I get the most out of every moment? and that answer is a HUGE NO! so that makes me depressed and stressed, and then I look at this aaaaaaaa and wish I lived THERE! but I know that's not easy... 'cause it also includes a lot of this: YIKES!
whine, whine, whine... get your shit together already, Lisa!!

anyway... that's not what I wanted to go on about today...
instead, I thought I would put out there for my "regular" readers...

is there anything you have ever wondered about me?
(you can post an anonymous comment if you don't want to be "recorded")
or is there an opinion of mine you've never heard before (SHOCKER!) that you might like me to go on about?
Since I am trying to post every day in November, I figure I might as well give you something to read that you'd actually WANT to read.....

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

n=8 Fall in AZ and Cars

Fall in AZ
How do you tell when its fall in AZ?
well - its November and still 90, there are no clouds, and its still brown; but I found something this morning...
instead of being brown sand or green fields, the cotton is WHITE!!
So that's how you can tell its fall in AZ - the cotton fields are white. Its very beautiful (I suppose I should have taken a photo).
anyway - Cars.
so, my service engine light came on... don't know why... so I took the car in. When you do that, they give you a free rental. I have been given a Mazda 6, Hyundai Sonata, and I think a grand am... After all those monsters, I learned the last time, that I should ask for "the smallest car you can give me"... last time, that was a Mazda 3 - MUCH better than the 6, Sonata or grand am... well, today I went in later than the morning rush, and there wasn't much on the lot. I was having Taurus fears, and so I said to the car (eyeing the 3 convertible MINIs) "give me the smallest car you can - yes, I'd take a SMART".
Well - he took me seriously-ish.... and I am now driving a Miata MX5 red convertible !!
I must say, I am impressed. It handles very well, has sufficient power, and there is virtually NO air movement with the top down!! It has the CVT transmission with the shift paddles on the steering wheel and that's kinda fun to play with. I am going to keep it overnight because it is SO MUCH FUN!!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Grr... to Yahoo! Mail

I have been using the new Yahoo! Mail, previously known as Yahoo! Mail Beta for the past year now, at least... well, the other day it stopped working, and I am back in Classic Yahoo! Mail... and I hate it!

I want the new interface back!!

I have sent emails to the Help department EVERY DAY and I still haven't heard what's going on.....

When I try to go in, I get this message "Couldn't open mailbox!"
comeon, that's just mean!!

do any of you use the new Yahoo! Mail? are you kicked out? or is it just me?
Farm 421 needs your help!!!

n=7 Choosing a Path toward Affect *

This guy in my office turned in his resignation yesterday because he is joining the airforce.
Background: he is a "design associate" which is a fancy way of saying an architect who is nearly registered; which means he has a degree; which means he enlists as an officer. Also - and actually I just remembered the details of this - he is a SINGLE dad with 2 kids. He told his boss (I learned of all this second-hand) that this is something he has always wanted to do.
So, I started thinking about why someone would join the armed forces at this point in time. Someone who is older, has 2 kids, a degree, and a successful career in the discipline of the degree.
Its not like he needs help paying for college, its not like he needs to "find himself", its not like he needs to bide time until he has direction; so the only reason I can think of is that he wants to make a difference, he wants to contribute, he wants to do something to have an effect*.
ok - so let's say this is the reason...
(no, Aaron, I haven't asked him. I'm scared to talk to him about it because I can't guarantee that my feelings on the subject won't come out during the conversation... and for those of you who actually know me, you are probably chuckling to yourself right now.)
anyway... can you affect* change by joining the armed forces?
well - its seems crazy to me because when you are in such an institution of RANK, you are expected to just take orders. Or give orders. Can you make change? probably not... you can possibly get sent to Iraq, and have a good statistical chance at getting KILLED.
It seems to me that a better way to work on making change is Aaron's route... find a way to get your message out. Communicate with the people, tell them what you think, get them to see your point of view, go into politics, represent yourself, represent your people.
Don't go and get yourself killed.
Am I missing something? maybe its my values that judge the armed forces this way. Do tell if I have got it wrong.
by the way - it seems that its easier to think of topics for my Nov posts during the week, actually, its downright easy. I guess this is proof that I do a good job shutting down my brain on the weekend. Yay me!
* if I'm not using the words in their correct meaning, keep it to yourself... at least I'm trying.

Monday, November 06, 2006

n=6 serial numbers

Why is it that they put serial numbers in such hard to find places?!
If they know that this number is going to be the one by which they track and follow your piece of equipment for the rest of its existance... why ON EARTH do they put it in such a hard to find/reach/locate place??!!
case in point:
my garage door opener. It has a light cover that is clipped in on the bottom, and screwed on at the top, there is a BIG GREASY POLE stuck into the top, and of course, the top is at the same height as the CEILING of the garage. So I'm having a problem, and I call, and the first thing they want is the serial number. Well, of course, its not on the outside - like it should be, in BIG LETTERS ON THE UNDERSIDE like the roof of emergency vehicles, so I can see it from the FLOOR! - and nor is it on the inside of the light cover AT THE BOTTOM, and no, its not near the top... its UNDER THE BIG METAL GREASY BAR !!! so not only do I have to locate a PHILIPS screwdriver, unscrew the light cover, I also have to find the BIG ladder, and schmoosh my face up close to the BIG METAL GREASY BAR to locate this number.
Keep in mind that my garage is still full of my kitchen cabinets and I need this number so that I can get a replacement "reciever" so that I can program a keypad entry for my garage door so that the contractor can get in and install said cabinets  !
so don't you want to come over and watch while I try to set up the ladder in the garage between the cabinets and get this lovely grease all over me from the lovely bar as I try to find a serial number so that TWO MONTHS from now (when the kitchen is done and already WRECKED), I can get a new receiver to program the keyless remote entry box thing, for which I already threw out the packaging so I can't return it since its more work than its WORTH!
oh, and I nearly forgot, they need the serial number to figure out whether or not the opener is under warranty.... wait a minute! I can help them out with that one, and save myself all this trouble.... the answer is NO!!!!!!!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

n=5 progression of life: a view from the mall

Here is an observation from being at the mall last night. It includes gross generalizations that you are just going to have to live with.

We ate dinner at the outside bar that looks at the mall entrance so we watched people going in and out and then we walked through the ford court to go into the mall.

I saw a lot of teenagers posturing. There were girls flirting with boys and vice versa. Let’s assume they are not having sex… so there’s all this flirting and playing with the implicit understanding that what they want is sex, partnership, pairing, with the goal of marriage. And what comes with marriage? Kids.
You look at all these teenagers and they are having fun and there’s excitement, electricity, and energy.

Next you have the young couples. They are holding hands, or wrapped up in each other, and all in love. They are the teenagers in the next step or phase. Now they have coupled and there is the sense of relief, and perhaps excitement for the anticipation of what comes next. The potential of the rest of their lives. And what is that? Kids?

Then you have the food court and it is almost all parent(s) with kid(s).
And there is a look of faraway in their eyes. They are absentmindedly feeding the kid. Or they are wrangling the kid, cleaning the kid, trying to distract the kid.
There is a distractedness of longing for simplicity. They are at the mall to get out of the house and this is a safe place to go.

The progression.

Do you get what I’m trying to get at? It was weird seeing all phases in one place. I wanted to say to the teenagers “just look inside. Is this really what you want? Do you realize this is the end gave to your posturing? If you could, would you make different choices?

Saturday, November 04, 2006

n=4 Sat

Aah, Saturday.
cutting this one close forgetting in a post a day!
We slept in, went for breakfast (Brunchies), lay on the lawn, shopped for paint(Oatmeal and Tibetan Jasmine), dinner (Kona), mall (Chandler), movie (Borat).
A very relaxing G. birthday for both of us.

I had a thought at the mall. It has to do with the cycle of life as it is represented at the mall. I'll fill you in tomorrow. ;-)

Friday, November 03, 2006

n=3 - Ummm?

Well, here's the problem.
today, I have nothing to say...
or at least nothing I think is worth saying.
so, let's think... why is that?
I suppose because its Friday, I've worked late everyday this week (except Tues, but that was the day of the 90 minute commute home), its been dark when I get home (always a bummer), I've been pissed off by something that happened at work at least twice, once had me so mad I cried, so I'm spent, irritated, and ready for quality TV time!
If I write anything here its going to be negative, bitching about someone or something, or just downright depressing, so I'll reserve my comments for the inside of my self, and let you continue to imagine me as a nice-ish person.
for the record though, I tried all the way to work to think of something nice and positive to write about, but that also spiraled into bad thoughts, so I'm just going to end here.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Bad News for Baker

Remember this: HELL?

we didn't get it
now how likely am I to do that again?

n=2 traffic

Today's topic is traffic.

I've been accumulating these but always forget to write about them, seems like this is a good opportunity to make conversation.

1. If I am in the travel lane, I have the right of way. Just because you put your turn signal on, does not mean that I give way to you - idiot!

2. If you are not travelling at the speed of traffic, move to the right. Hello! doesn't it say "slower traffic move right". Do you not understand that you have now BECOME the CAUSE of TRAFFIC.

3. Did you not hear that you are now required by law to keep a 2 second space between you and the car in front of you? This means that you should respect MY space. Don't steal it!! If everyone maintained their space, we would all have wiggle room for slowing down, and quite possibly, the stop and go traffic that WASTES GAS AND PRODUCED CO2 would be reduced! And besides, it means that I might be able to avoid putting in my clutch - just this ONCE ! PLEASE ! help me reduce my clutching!

4. If you cannot operate your vehicle, a weapon of mass destruction - for many reasons but particularly because you only have ONE hand (and no handicapped plate and special car) because the other is holding the PHONE to your EAR - safely... GET OFF THE ROAD! You are obliged by LAW to use your turn-signal to COMMUNICATE with ME; so GET OFF THE PHONE and communicate with ME!

Driving is the only time that I am ensconced in the general public; therefore it is the only time that I get a good feel for the intelligence of the general population, and honestly, I am disappointed! and it mostly makes me angry.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

November is for blogging, or n=1

I'm not a very good regular blogger. I don't think that I have something worth saying every ... day ... Some of the bloggers I read do, but they are either more practiced, interesting, or patient than me. So, I figured I would give the NaBloPoMo a Go.

(can someone tell me how to add the banner in my sidebar? I don't know anything about html, or blogger templates. I have the .jpg in flickr, what is the code I add here?)

This means that I might be posting some drivel! So I won't be offended if you leave. I know, I don't have patience for scroll and scrolls of text!

And in keeping with my technical writing strengths, I'm going to number these entries like a count..
So for n=1 you get Halloween.

Halloween 1, SUCKY = taking NINETY minutes to drive the 20 miles home. and I left work at 4 ! Next year, I'm leaving work at ONE! or I might just "work at home" all day.

Halloween 2 = Our house looked pretty cute... we each did a pumpkin and I put one on the mailbox, then I lit luminaries all the way down the drive and walkway. We had the smoking cauldron, giant spider, and rats.

Halloween 3 = there were TONS of kids; I nearly ran out of candy; and I had fun.

Halloween 4 = a friend from work and his 3 kids came over (they live very close) and it was fun to actually have some kid-energy IN the house.

Halloween 5 = about 5 cars of people drove in and canvased the neighborhood. I wouldn't have minded if they had separated out, but they decended in one big clump, and that many people do not fit in our outside "vestibule".

Halloween 6 = I got a call from the Harry Mitchell campaign (Aaron), and I told him to call people who a) hadn't voted yet and b) needed to hear WHY they HAVE TO vote for Harry Mitchell

Halloween 7 = people at work dressed up like the Alice in Wonderland characters. Whatever!

Halloween 8, a Thought = if you are out with your kids GETTING candy, it makes sense for the other parent to be at home GIVING IT OUT. ie you complete the circle. When you don't HAVE kids, and you're giving it out, does that count as good karma? hope so

let's see what I can come up with for n=2... I'm curious, aren't you?

Monday, October 30, 2006

Conversations with Aaron B Stiner - 13000 Sleeps

This is my friend Aaron. He is trying to change the world one conversation at a time. Do you agree? Do you not? Let him know.

"Are you nuts?"

this is the best voting argument letter EVER!
There's a proposition on the AZ ballot that all voting get done by mail-in ballot and that polling places get closed.

Are you nuts? This is the "Let's Destroy America" proposal.
The nation is supposed to rise up as a whole, and make decisions all at once, on election day, IN PERSON. It's traditional, historic, part of our very fabric. It helps make America great. The body politic acts, live, at the polls. America invented this. It's not delivery work for the Post Office.
Closing polling places for mailed elections makes fraud easy -- did the Post Office deliver your signed ballot? You won't know. Did you even get one in time? Did someone else gets yours... or two? Did you vote early, and now your candidate is... dead? Under investigation? In prison? Imagine the lines with most polls closed.
Voting is a sacred right of liberty. It requires a little effort folks. You have to find out who's running and what the issues are. Then you have to get off your lazy keester, go to a polling place with your neighbors and cast your vote. If that's too much, then you personally are letting precious freedom die. This isn't about the disabled or absentees -- it's about citizenship.
Iraqi people went out to vote, under threat of murder. Americans have given their lives, for centuries, so you could go vote. Honor them. Don't sell out for a lazy, corruptible mail-order substitute.
Next thing you know, they'll offer lotteries to get your vote. Then, people who know nothing and simply want a loser's chance to win money will mail in chances to win. What's that -- someone's already proposing cash giveaways?
Preserve freedom. Defeat the Vote by Mail Act. And get more news authorities hide from you at, or for real freedom issues, check out The Liberty Poll at
Alan Korwin, Author
Gun Laws of America
Alan Korwin, Author, Gun Laws of America, Scottsdale

Saturday, October 28, 2006

I give in to the meme

As always, my copycats come from Blackbird; and her friend Poppy
this one's funny, I think.

1. Flip to page 18, paragraph 4 - in the book closest to you right now, what does it say?
"When you are older, perhaps."
Tomb of the Golden Bird - Elizabeth Peters

2. If you stretch out your left arm as far as possible, what are you touching?
Cat brush-prickly

3. What's the last program you watched on TV?
It was last week, I guess, I can't remember
Maybe Survivor

4. Without looking, guess what time it is.
9.45am? hum-10am

5. Aside from the computer, what can you hear right now?
Someone drilling and Molly purring

6. When was the last time you were outside and what did you do?
Waited for Greg on the curb at the airport

7. What are you wearing?
Grey T-shirt and light/loose pants

8. Did you dream last night?
probably, but was so tired all I can remember is turning off the light

9. When was the last time you laughed?
Thursday- a couple times, but the best was when this older woman described herself (with pride) to have a "volatile personality". I laughed because I hope to be in that place at her age.

10. What's on the walls, in the room you're in right now?
Framed photos of beach ripples that Greg took and leaning on the walls are the framed prints of Australian aboriginal art from the living nom.

11. Have you seen anything strange lately?

12. What do you think about this meme?
interesting, fun to fill out

13. What's the last film you saw?
Family Stone - Blegh.

14. If you became a multimillionaire, what would you do with the money?
Pay off debt. Give to family, give to charity, stop working and adopt children.

15. Tell us something about yourself that most people don't know.

16. If you could change ONE THING in this world, without regarding politics or bad guilt, what would it be?
A willingness in people to consider the effect they have on the environment and the drive to do something about it.

17. Do you like dancing?

18. George Bush?

19. What do you want your children's names to be, girl/boy?
The names they were given by their parents.

20. Would you ever consider living abroad?
I already do.

21. What do you want God to tell you, when you come to heaven?
You're done.

22. Who should do this meme?
whomever wants to!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

fashion stylist

how long does it take for something to be hit in Google?

If I put in these keywords, will it get hit?




costa rica

what happens?

Saturday, October 14, 2006


Ok, I just found my newest favorite TV show.... this is better than Sex, better than Sopranos, and better than all the reality TV in the world !! well, maybe not the Amazing Race... not sure I'm ready to give that up. I am talking about Weeds. Wowzers!! Its hard to figure out what it is that gives this show its magic. There's humor, honesty, real-life reality, and a touch of the absurd! I am SO impressed at the creativity of the person who thought of the concept, the plot lines, the dialogue. Absolutely amazing!

At first I was disappointed that it was a 1/2 hour show... and then I learned, that the shortness is a part of the magic. All that action, story, and character development in such a little bit of time. I think that a large part of the power is in the cast. Mary-Louise Parker! I have always loved her! Boys on the Side was POWERFUL! and she does the suburban housewife too... and Elizabeth Perkins? incredible!! The whole cast! even the kids. This is some MUST SEE TV ! I would say its worth the Showtime premium, but I think that watching an episode and having to wait a week for the followup would be like TORTURE!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Blog observations

I have been traveling around the midwest (well, midwest by my definition - NC and PA) and have been spending alot of time alone with the internet. this means I've been reading blaugs. Even going through archives. I currently have three in rotation, and if I give them to you, you'll see how behind I am.
Amalah -03/04
Dooce - 10/15/02
and incase you are also a fan, I put the month and year I am up to too.

As you can see, I'm working my way through Amalah more quickly - and I guess its 'cause she's just so darn funny!
In her life, she has just started treatments to get preg-o, so she's childless and commuting.
The interesting part is seeing the commenting increase and to watch how things change.
The funny - strange funny - thing is that 2 of her commenters are other blogs I read.

Miss Zoot and Rude Cactus

I think I found Zoot through Amalah, so that's not so surprising, but Rude Cactus was like a big "huh!?"

See, I found him from Master b., who is actually someone I know!
(this is like a 7 degrees game - hee hee)

And here's something else - he's not an her blogroll!
Did something happen between them,
Is there SCANDAL in the Blogsphere??!

I guess I have to keep reading to find out!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

N = Ach; Yup, that's me!

I learned something yesterday, that kinda helped me with the frustration I was feeling last week.

I learned that according to McClelland
I am an "N-Ach (Need to Achieve)".
There are also "N-Aff (Need to Affiliate)" and "N-Ctl (Need to Control)".
The percentages fall out like this Ach = 15% Aff = 45% Ctl = 40%

So, basically, I'm in the minority. So it shouldn't surprise me that people are not like me. I should accept it. I should learn to work with the rest of the population, and have a little (ok a lot of) patience.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Today I am frustrated

Sometimes I wish I had someone else's life.
Like someone with a peaceful existance that doesn't require any decision making.
Its so frustrating that everything takes so much energy. Why does nothing ever seem to work unless you put in loads of energy?
Today I am frustrated because it seems like work has stopped.
There are no emails coming in.
There are no piles of things to do.
Where did it all go?
and I know the only way to get it back on track is to make it happen myself.
Why are there no people with initiative? why is everyone so willing to just sit in their cube and not try?
You would think that in the consulting industry people would have more drive... but, sadly, no they don't.
or maybe its just this company.
I think about that, and wonder if there is a way to find a company with people who care, people who really want a challenge, people who will think for themselves.
Is there a place out there like that? Is there a place where people actually care about their work, where you don't have to basically force them to work?
like I said, today I am frustrated.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Sunday morning blogs

Spent the morning reading blogs on my new toy. I think that the blogs I enjoy are all written by people who are writers. It makes me feel less bad about the pitifulness of the entries I post. The writers are creative, entertaining, funny.... I'm all matter of fact, dry, list'y... blegh.

In the end, though, that's who I am, and its not like I can suddenly become a creative writer after spending all my formative years avoiding English, creative writing, and being trained as a technical writer... you can't overnight stuff like that! Boy, if I could, I've overnight fix the fat on my stomach, the curve in my shoulders, and the lost time with my retainer!

Anyway... I have been reading back through the archives of some of my favorite bloggers, and its fun to notice when they start getting comments, and how their blogs change when they move from personal to public. The funny thing is that the comments all start hitting at once. So you don't know if people were lurking and waiting for the first person to post - like a high school dancefloor - or if its a coming together of the internet and after you've done your dues and stuck it out, the "world" finds you!!

I wouldn't mind finding some people like me on the internet... I think about it sometimes, and I realize that the issue is with me. My interests are so disparate that its hard to find people who are as random. And then I wonder, I don't really like that I am like the people who's blogs I read, nor do I know that I could be friends with them, so is this blogging world really a place where you can find virtual friends?

BTW - LOVE this new beta Blogger!